Budding left wing political party National Regeneration Movement (Morena) held a most secretive poll last week to determine who would be next year’s candidate for governor of Mexico City. Last Thursday secrecy continued unabated until the four hopefuls met at a hotel to find out who the winner had been.
There was a lot of curiosity in the press about it because nobody knows exactly how the poll or primary was carried out or how the winner was selected. But when the four candidates met, one of them, Senator Mario Delgado, left in a hurry.
Reporters tackled him but he was in a hurry and not willing to let them know who the winner was. But finally, Delgado spat it out.
“I’m just going to give you a hint and you can draw your own conclusion; it’s a woman.”
That was easy. Among the four contenders there was only one woman, Tlalpan borough Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
A minute later a smiling Claudia Sheinbaum walked out of the meeting and told reporters “the only thing I can tell you is that the results of the poll will be formally notified by Morena and that we are going to stick together, united.”
According to daily newspaper El Universal, the poll was secretly carried out by Morena pollsters among 1,400 registered Mexico City voters. No other details are known in terms of what margin Sheinbaum came out ahead.
But for cynics, it doesn’t matter because very much in tandem with Mexican tradition it is said that long before the poll — if it existed at all — the leader and founder of Morena Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had shown great preference for her.
Morena leader in Mexico City Marti Batres, also a hopeful, formally announced later that Sheinbaum had had a majority in the poll and therefore she was from now on the party leader in the city and this automatically made her the candidate for governor.
That could easily be the end of the story but it is not. In the aftermath it was learned by several political gossip pundits that Morena’s secretary general, Yeidckol Polevnsky, had shared two weeks before the carrying out of the voting — Sunday, Aug. 20 — that she had shared with the leaders of political parties Citizens’ Movement and Labor Party, Dante Delgado and Alberto Anaya, that Claudia Sheinbaum was “the anointed one” as it is said in Mexican political lingo when someone has been selected to be candidate for a post.
Whether this was true or not matters little but it comes to show that at Morena, a political organization that claims it does not follow the patterns imposed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of letting the leader appoint candidates at will, it was done “the democratic way.”
But the alleged “imprudence” by Yeidckol Polevnsky in letting the leaders of the other know who AMLO’s favorite candidate was toppled the value of the poll — again, if there was any.
Apparently the advanced information to the leaders of other parties was to cool off overheated hopeful Ricardo Monreal — Cuauhtémoc borough mayor — who after learning the results of the poll showed disappointment but pleaded loyalty to Morena. In fact, according to city party leader Marti Batres, Monreal came in in third place.
The one and only reason why this poll and the announcement of the Morena poll winner is important is because the party’s candidate has literally assured the victory for the city’s governorship. Morena, in three years of existence and four after it split from the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) has been gathering adepts and in all polls it is clear that PRD, which has governed the city since 1997, lost most of its votes to splinter Morena.
As to whether Claudia Sheinbaum was appointed by AMLO or in reality she won the secretive poll fair and square remains to be seen. If she was appointed, then AMLO is carrying out the PRI practice of “finger pointing” to elect candidates. If not, there’s doubt as to the poll but in all cases the decision has been made and in everyone’s mind Claudia Sheinbaum will be the city’s first governess under the new constitution that moves the city from being a federal district to a bona fide state.